New Zealand kiwiberries have been warmly welcomed by the Chinese market. However, Produce Report learned from industry insiders that China has suspended import of the fruit.
Industry insiders explained that the latest ASQIQ import list only allows the import of New Zealand kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis), while kiwiberries are a separate species, with the scientific name Actinidia arguta. In accordance with this latest ASQIQ document, the import of kiwiberries has been suspended.
Previously, kiwiberries were allowed under the ASQIQ guidelines because of their similarity to kiwifruit. The update of the ASQIQ guidelines in early February, however, included an increase in scientific and English names of fruit, making it clear that kiwiberries had not been included.
Kiwifruit originated in China. In fact, the fruit's earliest name was Chinese gooseberry. After spreading to New Zealand, the fruit became known as kiwifruit, and became available worldwide.
Importers and exporters involved with kiwiberries confirmed this moratorium on the fruit to Produce Report. It is unclear when the ban will be lifted. Produce Report will continue to monitor the situation.
Image Source: Nzkiwiberry.com